Remote work has a significant and complicated impact on individuals and businesses.
The ability to work from home allows employees greater freedom over how they organize their days and manage their personal lives. At the same time, without a physical separation between the workplace and the rest of an employee’s day, work-life balance can begin to feel like a blurry concept that’s hard to define.
In this environment perhaps more than ever, it’s important for businesses to emphasize the human connection that ties team members together.
Instead of viewing one another as unrelated individuals quietly working by themselves to check off a string of disconnected tasks, companies need to help people come together. Learn How to launch a community with Webex Teams
The answer for a more confident and connected workplace is greater interpersonal interaction.
Because of the greater flexibility provided by telework opportunities, colleagues may be based in locations far away from each other, limiting opportunities for them to chitchat in the break room, grab lunch together, or even just to say hello in the hallway.
Finding new opportunities for interpersonal interaction among geographically separated employees can lead to a wide range of positive outcomes.
Summarizing a study originally published in Personality and Social Psychology Review, an article in Science Daily claimed that “health at work is determined to a large extent by our social relationships in the workplace – and, more particularly, the social groups we form there.”
The authors went on to note that health benefits seemed to be more significant when a greater number of people at the organization shared a feeling of connectedness.
This research indicates that, while one-on-one relationships are important, organizations need to do what they can to develop a greater sense of inclusion for everybody.
There’s a huge difference in performance between workers who have strong connections with their colleagues and those who don’t.
It seems like common sense that greater interpersonal connection in the workplace could translate into better productivity. When people know, respect and value their colleagues, they’re naturally inclined to feel like they share responsibility and accountability with their peers. Why remote work can be more productive work
There’s evidence to support this claim.
For instance, Gallup found that people who reported having a best friend at work were “seven times more likely to be engaged.” Other positive performance indicators included better work and fewer workplace injuries.
Feeling connected to teammates may have benefits for self-esteem and collective confidence, too.
Interacting closely with colleagues can help individuals develop greater self-confidence and improve a team’s sense of cohesion and shared accomplishment.
On the other hand, without the affirmation provided by close relationships, it can be difficult to achieve higher levels of self-esteem. Self-doubt can begin to take the place of mutual support.
The American Psychological Association highlighted a study first published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that claimed self-esteem and positive relationships go hand in hand, with one factor boosting the other. The study indicated that these results seem to hold true across a person’s life, even into advanced age.
To create this feedback loop between self-esteem and positive relationships, businesses need to cultivate greater personal interaction.
To achieve greater interaction between colleagues and associates, there are many strategies that businesses can use. The thoughtful application of telework technologies can help drive stronger human connection.
Videoconferencing is a simple solution for enhanced communication. By enabling meeting participants to pick up on nonverbal cues from each other, attendees can more fully appreciate what their colleagues are saying. Using video for client meetings can also help establish a more personal connection with prospects and customers. Screen sharing tools can facilitate more thorough communication, assisting with collaboration, and allowing contributors to truly feel heard.
Another significant benefit of videoconferencing technology is the ability to record and archive demos and tutorials in their entirety. Sharing these resources can be a great way for colleagues to help keep one another informed about business operations.
Employees feel more connected to their workplaces when they know they have the tools they need to adequately balance work responsibilities with their personal lives.
Remote work technology that enables workers to spend less time on their commute will help their personal interactions feel relaxed and natural.
Encouraging workers to use videoconferencing and collaboration tools also allow them to be more present with one another when they tackle projects together. When colleagues connect over a video chat line, their attention remains focused on the conversation at hand, not divided among other communication channels. Get the most out of work-life balance
Collaboration tools and scheduled meetings are one component of a multifaceted approach to shared, community-based platforms that encourage interpersonal communication.
Standalone multifunctional groups, such as Webex Teams, enable greater interaction between colleagues and teammates. With limited outside distractions and a more relaxed atmosphere, online communities can serve as a virtual watercooler for impromptu check-ins and spontaneous chats.
There are many opportunities available from Cisco Webex to help you improve interpersonal interaction and nurture a more confident, connected workplace.
Reach out today for more information or a free trial.